The pReview Re-viewing of..
CLICK THE TITLE TO VIEW THE TRAILER IN A SEPARATE WINDOW!
(it is highly recommended to view the trailer and THEN read)
(warning: This may be a family comedy.. But I definitely cursed talking about it.)
by Jeff Finck
Release Date: November 2, 2012
The premise: Have you ever worked with someone that you hated? Not just hated.. But their very existence actually caused you physical pain? A smaller, skinnier, more upbeat person than you're comfortable associating yourself with, who just begs with every syllable of every word of every sentence of every conversation, for you to cram fiberglass shavings into their lungs? Well then, you’ll identify with the protagonist of this movie! Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is roommates with.. Sorry, game-mates with Felix (voiced by Jack McBrayer). Felix is the clean one and Ralph likes to wreck things. They're like a video game odd couple.. If Oscar had Incredible Hulk fists and terrorized everyone in their apartment building, and Felix had a magical hammer that fixed everything it smashed into. Well, Ralph is a video game bad guy in the arcade smash Fix-It Felix, Jr. He's kind of like if Donkey Kong banged out a Rampage monster and Coach McGuirk from Home Movies popped out. His nemesis is Fix-It Felix.. I assume, Junior.. A well-meaning handyman that's kind of like Mario, without the obsessive need to jump head-first into things and brutally murder walking mushrooms and over-sized turtles. Stuck in a rut, and a little depressed due to the fact that everyone in the building that he's been destroying for 30 years hates him, Ralph finds a way to leave his game.. Thus sparking a terrible calamity that could ruin every other arcade game in the world! He seeks solace in BA (Bad: Anon) meetings and eventually, the loving arms of other, completely different arcade games.
The trailer opens on some old school coin operated arcade machines. How do I know that they're old school? Because they only cost a damn quarter!!! Evidence of old school-ishness also comes from the movie's arcade game, Fix-It Felix, Jr. being sandwiched in between Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Ralph introduces himself as a full time home wrecker of over 30 years! His job consists of wrecking the Niceland Apartment building. He does this while the hero of the game, Fix-It Felix (picture Morel Orel shoved into Mario's clothes if they were designed by Picasso in 1903), scales the building fixing the things that Ralph breaks. Mostly windows. Actually.. Only windows. And then he steals pies. Actually, Fix-It Felix is kind of a jerk! I bet he secretly hired Ralph to break this building apart, thus keeping the denizens in fear and solidifying a constant flow of work and pies for Felix! New theory: They're both bad guys!
Either way, as soon as Felix fixes the whole building.. Oh! Fix-It Felix! I get it now! Well, as soon as the building is clear, the tenants and Felix corner Ralph on the roof, and celebrate the building's survival by heaving Ralph off of the.. Well, I'm not entirely sure how tall the building is. I made it to level 20 or so in the actual game before a piece of shit duck went all Tonya Harding on my little carpenter, and the building showed no signs of stopping. There are 3 floors per level, too. So I assume that the Niceland Apartments are probably located in Dubai..
So, Old Ralph feels under-appreciated in his job.. Welcome to the real world, jackass. In order to cope, Ralph hangs out with the rest of the under-appreciated bad guys who are coming to terms with their life's work, including Zangief, the philosophical Russian prophet, apparently, spouting off advice. Clyde from Pac-Man, the facilitator of the meeting (Which makes sense as he is one of the first recognizable, named bad guys from the blockbuster era of arcade games). Cyril from House of the Dead also dispenses life changing philosophies in the alternate trailer so that Disney can compare having a 9-to-5 job to being a zombie. There's also Bowser, who shits himself so hard at the thought of not being a bad guy anymore that it terrifies Clyde into blue mode. Dr. Robotnik silently nods along with everything anyone says at the meeting.. Probably silently plotting to turn everyone into tiny animals and trap them inside of robots. Others include Neff from Altered Beast, plus Kano from Mortal Kombat.. Neff and Kano, I thought were odd choices for a kid's movie. Everyone else is just kind of a fun bad guy from fun, cheesy games.. But Kano is a straight up murderer for the sake of murder (warning: That link is bloody). And Neff is an evil demon god from the Underworld who spends his days torturing female goddesses from Mt. Olympus!
The cameos keep coming throughout Game Central Station with Sonic, Dig-Dug, Frogger, and a whole slew of game background fodder including dinosaurs, football players, centurions, marines, princesses, space marines, and I'm pretty sure I saw Koopas and cannibalistic zombie penguins! (Okay.. But wouldn't it be awesome if they had cannibalistic zombie penguins!?) From here, Ralph begins his video game odyssey, bumbling through his digital universe. First stop: Hero's Duty.
Hero's Duty is pretty much Halo meets Call of Duty meets Gears of War meets Starship Troopers. On his way to “join the cause”, Ralph trips over Q*bert and just vomits out his entire plan. Q*bert is, apparently, a gossipy bitch and tattles on Ralph the first chance he gets. Luckily, no one speaks Q*bertese! ..Oh wait, Fix-It Felix, who is now in pursuit of his greatest frenemy, does. And of course he does. What a prick. But it's too late! Ralph is already well into the game and running around like Lazăr Edeleanu on speed, obeying orders from Sergeant Calhoun (wonderfully and aggressively voiced by Jane Lynch).
When Ralph is done wrecking shit in gunfight land, he hops onto a ship and flies right into the heart of Disney's answer to a Candy Land level of MarioKart: Sugar Rush. There, he meets pint-sized racer, Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman). Vannellope is a 9 year old nuisance who becomes Ralph's sidekick on his adventure through Katy Perry’s California Gurls music video. His presence in Sugarland disturbs the status quo and soon Ralph is confronted by King Candy (Alan Tudyk) about his game jumping. King Candy is.. Well, imagine the Mad Hatter without a hat.. That’s it. Ralph says, "Bag this noise!" and assaults the king with physical violence AND irony.
After jumping around in a few games, the fact that Ralph isn't in his game is starting to affect the real world: If the wrecking guy isn't in the fix-it game.. There is no game. And if the wrecking guy is in everyone else’s game.. Who will fix those games? If you said, “Fix-It Felix, Jr. to the rescue!” You're wrong! The answer is, "Eff these games, they're all old and glitchy now.. Unplug 'em and bring in some Dance Dance Revolution 26 machines!" ..Or the Teletubbies video game.. Or whatever the hell is popular with these kids nowadays.
Right before fun. assaults our senses with their song, Some Nights, Ralph is apparently starting to make some progress as a "person"! It turns out that he actually won a medal in Hero's Duty! A medal for what, I'm not sure.. It was probably for something like Most Bumbling Through a Battle since Jar Jar Binks. But Ralph is changing his destiny and no one can hold him back.. Not even the destruction of the entire gaming world! And it seems that everyone is against him, even Kano at the Bad Guys Anonymous meetings tries to bro him down a level or two.
The rest of the trailer is filled with several scenes that are cut around a bad guy chant straight out of a Stuart Smalley tirade. But that's valid, you know? I mean, everyone always asks, "Why butter the bread if you're just going to throw it onto an anthill?" ..What's that? Not one person in the history of people has ever asked that question? Oh.. I think I, maybe, meant that people generally ask how bad guys can live with themselves. It turns out, a little self-help and sharing goes a long way in the war of kidnapping princesses and trying to take over the world. There's a few shots Felix in jail toward the end, which is kind of funny on account of the fact that Fix-It Felix's hammer does the opposite of destroying things.
What we have here is basically a Toy Story for gamers. Also, a movie for people over the age of 30, but aimed at people under the age of 12. The only real trepidation I have, as an adult actually excited to watch a kid's movie (Who am I kidding.. Disney’s Hercules is still the best movie ever made), is that it's going to get waaaaaay sappy. But I feel like, maybe that shouldn't be a real hang up, though.. Look at Meet the Robinsons. That was full of sap, but was still amazing. The first time I saw the trailer for Ralph, I thought, "Hmmm.. Okay. Sure..Why not?" But the more info that I see about this flick, the more excited that I get! The voice casting is excellent, they're taking a run at Pixar with the graphics, and they actually INVENTED the game that's featured in the damn movie (The game on the site is copyrighted Tobikomi Co. 1983.. 1983 is probably a nod to the year that Jumpman was released.. Further evidence of that nod: "Tobokomi" means "jump". They thought of everything!) Plus, even if the whole thing gets washed away in the sap and poop-jokes-for-kids, at the very least, I'll have my checklist ready for the 20 billion video game cameos Disney has meticulously crafted together!